There is something distinctive about music produced by analog hardware. In attempt to capture this characteristic sound, I began work on creating an analog synthesizer of my own. Besides creating some small audio circuits in the past, this is my first attempt at constructing a true musical synthesizer.
Having not built a synthesizer before, I decided to start with a kit. This project is designed around the Noise Toaster kit by Music from Outer Space (MFOS). The MFOS website included schematic diagrams and helpful instructions which aided my project.
In addition to the sound, the appearance and ergonomics of the project were important to me. The frame was constructed of laser-cut plywood and the front panel was fabricated from aluminum with labels made from a laser-etched coating of paint. I adopted the label pattern from Brendan Byrne.
Although I did not design the audio circuits on my own, the project proved to be a meaningful learning experience. While constructing the project, one of the skills I developed was the skill of troubleshooting. The circuit did not work the first time, but I was able to re-examine the schematics and fix the underlying problems. In addition, the project allowed me to apply concepts I learned from school including mesh/nodal analysis and creating high/low-pass filters.